Split but together: Divorced couples finding novel ways to live under the same roof for their children’s sake
Monica McGrath and Kent Kirkland are divorced parents of two young children. They live in one house with their children, call themselves friends and borrow sugar from one another.
The Edmonton family gained Canada-wide recognition this month after media attention turned to their family set-up and living arrangements. Part of this attention was due to their custom-built “transporter” house, with two separate sides and a hallway connecting them, but also because they’re doing what many separated couples say they want to do; put the kids first.
“I still consider us a family. We have kids together, we’re still connected,” says Ms. McGrath of her ex-husband. “We need to together raise our kids, no matter what our situation is. This home allows us to do that.”
Their family model is a version of a “bird’s nest” arrangement where children stay in the house, while separated or divorced parents come to them. Some see this as a model that helps minimize disruption for children. It means they don’t have to be uprooted, trekking from one parent’s house to another’s on a regular basis. Although this model is still rare, experts say it has become increasingly common over the last 10 years. (Photo: Walter Tychnowicz for National Post)